Transfer news: Gareth Bale may play in Tottenham friendly this week amid talks over £80m switch to Real Madrid

The Wales international is keen to move to the Bernabeu

The Tottenham Hotspur manager, Andre Villas-Boas, has arranged a behind-closed-doors friendly for his first team at the club's training ground on Thursday against a non-League opponent which could yet give Gareth Bale the chance to play as he waits for Real Madrid to make a decisive move over his future.

The Spurs first team squad players have been given two days off after returning from Hong Kong on Monday but are back in training today. A Spurs XI will play against MK Dons in Milton Keynes today although it is not expected that Bale will feature in that match.

The 24-year-old had a glute injury during Spurs’ stay in Hong Kong for the Premier League Asia Trophy, which prevented him from playing but he is understood to be keen to get some match-time, in spite of the uncertainty over his future. The player himself has made it clear that he would like Spurs to agree a price with Madrid to facilitate a move.

The first-team game tomorrow is against a non-league opponent at Spurs’ training ground in Enfield. Bale has not played for Spurs since the friendly against Swindon Town on 16 July.

The player and his advisors have made it clear to the club that they want the move to Madrid to happen this summer. It is the expectation at the club that only a world-record breaking transfer of more than £80m will be acceptable to chairman Daniel Levy who is now back in Miami on holiday having been in London briefly at the weekend.

In the meantime, Madrid’s famous players past and present have lined up to endorse the club’s move for the Spurs winger. Zinedine Zidane, now an assistant to coach Carlo Ancelotti said in Los Angeles, where the club are currently based on tour, that the chance to play for Madrid came along “once in a lifetime”.

Zidane said: “It is not unusual when a player knows that Real Madrid are interested in them that they get excited. There is nothing more prestigious for a player to wear the white of Real Madrid.

“If he has expressed a desire to join Madrid then Tottenham should give him permission to speak with us. The chance to play for Real Madrid might only come around once in a player's lifetime - and it is understandable that Gareth doesn't want to miss out on it.

“This is modern football - you have to pay to get the best players in Europe. Last season Gareth was on the same level as Ronaldo and Messi. The best players can have not so great games - but change a game with a moment of brilliance. Those are the sort of players that win you Champions League's and League titles. 

“He is already one of the finest player in Europe and he has everything needed to become the best player in the world. It is a bit of a cliche - but it is true you become a better player playing with better players.”

The goalkeeper Iker Casillas said that Bale was “one of the top three or four best players in Europe”. He said: “It's normal that his name is being discussed because he has all the qualities a footballer needs.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy